Despite this heritage, golfers visiting Myanmar today will find plenty of golf that meet the requirements of the modern game. The most logical place to start a playing adventure in the country is in Yangon, which offers easy access to a host of compelling clubs.
Among these, the Gary Player-designed layout at Pun Hliang is a stand out. Constructed over former paddy fields where the Hlaing and Pun Hlaing rivers meet the Yangon River, the course presents a formidable test, with hungry water hazards lying in wait on many of the holes.
Another Yangon course that is guaranteed to impress visiting golfers is the one at Mingalardon Golf and Country Club. Although it was only established in 1995, the course is laid out over a fantastic chunk of land, with giant tropical trees, well-constructed bunkers and nicely integrated water hazards giving it a pleasing air of maturity.
Other fascinating layouts near Yangon include Yangon City Golf Resort, which has 36 solid holes, and the historic Yangon Golf Club, which still presents an excellent challenge despite dating back to the early years of the 20th Century.
There’s plenty of golfing life outside the big city in Myanmar too. Witnessing the temples at Bagan is a must for visitors, and the 18-hole course at Bagan Golf Resort adds a prime golfing component to this bucket-list experience.
Equally essential for visitors is a trip to tranquil Inle Lake – one of the country’s most beautiful spots. Near here, the Aye Thar Yar Golf Resort offers visual manna and great golf in equal measure. Situated around 3000-feet above sea level in the highlands, the course gets refreshing breezes all year round and is surrounded by glorious mountain scenery.
Near virgin territory as a golf destination, Myanmar is likely to surprise visitors with the diversity and strength of its playing options. And with the country continuing to open-up to visitors, now is the perfect time to sample its heady and distinctive brew.